Gotham New York Bagels and Eats

Let me start by saying that I am not a bagel snob. So if you are, you probably don’t care what I have to say about Madison’s new bagel shop, Gotham New York Bagels and Eats, on Mifflin Street right off Capital Square. In fact, if you’re a bagel snob, and you live in Madison, and you’re hoping that GNYB&E is going to be a little piece of transplanted Manhattan, you’re going to be disappointed. Gotham is to a New York bagel shop as Ian’s Pizza is to a New York pizzeria, which is to say: it’s recognizably part of the relevant food tradition, but makes choices that snobs would deplore. At Ian’s, this means macaroni and cheese pizza. At Gotham, it means you can have soy cream cheese if you want it, or chimichurri cream cheese, or a soft-shell crab on your bagel instead of lox. And all these things are really good! (Actually, I can’t speak to the soy cream cheese, but we’re living in a golden age of soy dairy and I’m sure it’s fine.) No surprise that Ian Gurfield of Ian’s pizza is one of the people behind Gotham.

It turns out here are plenty of bagel-lovers in Madison who aren’t too snobby to patronize Gotham; three months after opening, the place is packed, and there are enough Eastern Seaboard college sweatshirts and Strand bags to make a former New Jerseyan like me feel right at home. Some highlights:

  • the abovementioned soft-shell crab sandwich (available just through August.) It turns out that a chewy bagel is a better match than the usual soft roll for the battery crunch of a fried soft-shell crab.
  • a first-rate egg salad, chopped so finely as to be almost a paste, and served very cold.
  • The only good pastrami sandwich in Madison that I know of. (On rye, not a bagel, as it should be. I’m not a bagel snob but maybe I’m a pastrami snob.)

Gotham is open for breakfast and lunch seven days; sandwiches are around $8.
112 E. Mifflin St.

Isthmus review

One thought on “Gotham New York Bagels and Eats

  1. John Cowan says:

    As a New York bagel snob, I hereby declare that there is nothing at all wrong with variant shmears.

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